Cloistered in prayer for WNY

by GEORGE RICHERT
Wed, May 25th 2016 08:00 am
Bishop Edward Grosz offers Holy Communion to Dominican Sisters at Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary
Bishop Edward Grosz offers Holy Communion to Dominican Sisters at Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary
For more than a hundred years they have prayed quietly in a monastery on Doat Street in Buffalo, but that's only a small portion of the 800 year history of the Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominican Sisters.

"The main reason that we all are here is that we love God, so love is the primary reason that we do what we do," said Mother Mary Gemma, O.P, prioress of the Buffalo Dominicans. " We love God first of all, and then we love our neighbor. We pray for them because that is our mission, that was St. Dominic's passion." St. Dominic de Guzman, a teacher and preacher founded the order in 1215. "He prayed for sinners and he wanted more than anything else to save souls, and so his life was spent preaching the truth."

Bishop Edward M. Grosz celebrated a special Mass marking the 800th anniversary of the order. It was held at the Dominican Monastery on May 24, which also happens to mark the day in 1905  that five sisters arrived at what was known as the Urban House and farm to begin their new life of perpetual adoration, according to Mother Mary Gemma. "We lift our hearts to God every day and we lift the people of the world there every day . We hear every day of many, many sorrows and suffering that people are in. It's just heartbreaking for us to hear those things, but it drives us all the more to give ourselves to our life here in Penance and prayer and to do all that we can to ask God to help these poor people."

To mark the anniversary of the order, Pope Francis has granted special Jubilee Indulgences. About twenty Dominican Nuns of the Monastery of Our lady of the Rosary stay fairly sheltered from the outside world. "We're here out of love. Nothing else could keep us. Not the wall and not the grill, but love alone," said Mother Mary Gemma, who spoke on what the future holds for the order on Buffalo's east side. "We are getting vocations. We've had three in the novitiate and one is hoping to enter either this year or next, and a couple others are visiting, so we're very hopeful that we can hand on the legacy that we've been given by St. Dominic and that we can continue to have a vibrant community that can continue doing what we have been doping all this time, so we're hopeful for the future. Anyone we come in contact with from the Diocese we say 'you're in our prayers."

Bishop Grosz addressed the Dominican Sisters through a grill which separates them from the chapel sanctuary, "Thank you for all you continue to do for our diocese, by your prayer, by your penance by your sacrifice, by opening the doors to this beautiful spiritual oasis where many can come for confession and counseling."

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